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Studebaker History Day @ Decatur North High School (pics)

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  • Studebaker History Day @ Decatur North High School (pics)

    Six Indy Chapter SDCers and four Studebakers were invited to serve as an on-site "Field Trip" for the members of Mr. John Pratt's Indiana History Class today (Thursday, November 10) at Decatur North High School in southeast Indiana. (Decatur North is in Greensburg IN, about halfway between Indianapolis and Cincinnati OH along I-74.)

    The adventure began when Mr. Pratt, center, tasked class members with generating a specific item about Indiana History and "reporting" it to the class. Student Dalton Hartley, left, went Mr. Pratt one better and single-handedly brought about 14,000 pounds of Indiana history to the school in the form of four Studebaker vehicles! Yours truly to the right:

    Dalton's interest in all things Indiana led him to the internet to see about Indiana-built Studebakers. He ultimately located and contacted former SDC Indy Chapter President Chuck Kern and asked about having a presentation at the school. Chuck made some phone calls and set everything up with Dalton, much to Mr. Pratt's glee.

    SDCers Chuck Kern, Richard Poe, Marvin Snider, and Yours Truly met Greensburg SDCers Chris Harping and his father Roland in the parking lot of Decatur North High School at the appointed hour when the class convened and could empty into the parking lot to view the Studebakers: Marvin Snider's 1955 President Coupe, the Harping's 1963 Hawk, and Chuck's Champ stake bed and Pure Stock victor Avanti; Richard driving the Avanti over for Chuck while I rode along with Marvin.

    The class emptied and the students had a dandy time looking over the Studebakers, asking questions, and being told about them:

    Richard Poe explains the finer points of the Studebaker V8 engine to several students. (I'll be doggoned: The one student has a Purdue sweatshirt; imagine the coincidence of my selecting that picture from among those taken!)

    The class period was only 50 minutes long, so Richard barely got started extolling the virtues of The Studebaker V8:

    Marvin Snider's '55 President Regal Coupe was well-received:

    Richard Poe describes the Avanti's aerodynamics to an attentive audience:

    Chuck Kern's description of the standard "loud muffler" Avanti exhaust system preceded his firing up the car and blasting away to the amazement of all, having first seen the supercharger:

    Chuck Kern brought probably 50 or 60 recent copies of Turning Wheels and The AOAI Magazine and handed them out. Each student in the class got at least two magazines to keep, and extras were left with Mr. Pratt:

    It was a chilly, breezy day on the Indiana plains, so we retreated indoors to the classroom for Questions and Answers and general Studebaker discussion before everyone froze. (Mr. Pratt's Indiana History class is an elective open to all four classes at Decatur North, so everyone in the class has an interest in being there and Freshmen through Seniors were represented.)

    We got to talking about The Studebaker National Museum and I was reminded of how time flies when I thought I'd relate to the kids by mentioning that The Muppet Movie car was displayed at the museum. The kids were polite and courteous enough, but not one of them was familiar with The Muppet Movie! Geeze; how time flies; has it been that long since the movie was popular? None of us are getting any younger, for sure.

    Overall, it was a super day and garnered much good exposure for Studebaker and The Studebaker Drivers Club. (Thanks for your enterprising attitude, Dalton; much appreciated!) BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 11-11-2011, 02:22 PM. Reason: to correct name spelling
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    Great story.
    63 Avanti R1 2788
    1914 Stutz Bearcat
    (George Barris replica)

    Washington State


    • #3
      EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done!
      1957 Studebaker Champion 2 door. Staten Island, New York.

      "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein


      • #4
        Great days work Bob. Who knows what seeds you guys planted today. Could be that some kid sets aside his video game this week-end so that him and his dad can cruise the countryside for some long neglected barn find.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975


        • #5
          Without any doubt at all, this story ought to appear in TW...what a terrific initiative.

          And yes, The Muppet Movie dates to 1979, so certainly none of the Decatur students would've been on the scene. Most of their parents would've been pretty young! Coincidentally there's a new Muppet film, produced by Disney and entitled simply "The Muppets", hitting theatres (or theaters, stateside) right about now. Far as I know, though, Fozzie's uncle's Stude does not appear therein, so it's not as good a film as the original... ;-)

          Last edited by Steve T; 11-10-2011, 03:35 PM.


          • #6
            Great story. Things like this are what keep the club alive well into the future.

            I wouldn't be surprised to see one of those in attendance buying a studebaker after such a fine introduction to the marque.
            Dave Nevin
            Corvallis, OR
            1953 Champion Deluxe Coupe
            Stud-e-venture blog


            • #7
              Why are there only, what...three girls pictured?
              (read it backwards)

              Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln


              • #8
                Originally posted by kurtruk View Post
                Why are there only, what...three girls pictured?
                There are only three girls pictured because there are/were only three girls in the class, Kurt. It's not that others didn't want to come outside and see the Studes or anything; there were simply, only, three girls in attendance. (When we all went inside and they took their seats in the classroom, it was easy to inventory everyone from up front where we were speaking. I didn't count, but I believe there were about 20 students in the class that day.)

                'Not sure why more girls weren't in the class, but it is an elective, so, apparently, simply not as many girls were interested in taking Indiana least this semester.

                (HA! You can bet that will change next semester when word gets around about the cool cars and truck that were brought to the class this semster! <GGG>) BP
                We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.


                • #9
                  Just after we pulled up to the school and parked the Studebakers at the main entrance a female student not in the class we were invited to attend came out. She looked at the Studebakers and asks me if this was “cool car day.”
                  Maybe the girls just missed out.
                  State History is an important subject and should be mandatory in my opinion. A big thanks to Dalton and Mr. Pratt along with Chuck Kern for the invite.
                  The annual all Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Car Drag Race is Saturday May 27th 2017 9:00 am at Brown County Dragway in Bean Blossom, Indiana. "Studebaker Drag Racing you can't beat it" For more information contact Richard Poe